Printing individual 3x5 cards

LibreOffice Writer Version: 
Printer: Brother MFC-7340 
OS: Ubuntu 14.04

I would like to print directly to 3x5 index cards. They go through the printer ok if fed in narrow edge first.

I created a 3x5 paper size in my printer definition (.ppd) and that successfully shows up now as a legal paper size. I did this by copying the A6 definition and adjusting the sizes slightly for 3x5.

With this printer, you have to slide some guides to the center of the manual feed tray so that the card (or envelope) goes down the middle of the paper path. Note that none of the printer definitions seem to take this into account; they just describe measurements of the page and print areas within.

For envelopes, this works fine, since something in LO tells the printer to print down the middle of the paper path to match up with where the paper is.

But my 3x5 page prints in the bottom left of a letter-sized sheet fed through as a test. Thus, if you feed a 3x5 card, the print misses the card completely.

(Remember everything is in landscape mode, so the print area in the lower right corner of the page is as if that 3x5 card were down there in the lower left corner of the page.)

I eventually gave up and used the A6 size (pretty close to 3x5 and prints down the middle of the paper path). I added a 3x5 frame to it positioned to the left edge and centered vertically. Unfortunately, even though you can add another frame for the text inside this frame (for vertical centering), the vertical centering of that inner frame must be done manually. Maybe this is a bug, but that’s off topic.

This works pretty well, with the printing on the A6 size landing squarely in the middle of the 3x5 frame - which, of course is the 3x5 card.

I was wondering if anyone has ever tried doing this without the A6 workaround?

Build ID: 8f96e87c890bf8fa77463cd4b640a2312823f3ad

I have the same question, but I’m trying to print text on to 4x6 photo stock. LibreOffice is told to use cassette 2 on the Canon printer (which has that stock) but insists on going to cassette 1 with 8x10 paper and prints on at the corner of that paper.

Symptom summary

  • I can have a 3x5 page size in LibreOffice.
  • Be able to send a 3x5 test page from the HP Device Manager to my HP printer successfully.
  • In the LibreOffice Print dialogue my only choice is 8.5 x 11 in paper with the drop down menus for other choices grayed out.

A Workaround

It does require some preparation the first time around.

[My System specs are found at the end below. I have used this successfully with HP 6900 and 7800 series Office-jet Pro printers under the Ubuntu OS. If you have a different printer or Linux distro, check the note below. If you are successful with others, please add your own variation of these instructions to ]

In LO Writer

  1. In styles, click the Page Styles icon.

  2. Other click “Default Page Style” and select “New”

  3. Fill in the following fields

    Organizer Tab > Name: Enter “3x5 Card”

    Page Tab > Paper Format

    Format:         Select User
    Width:           3.00" [Must be exact, not 2.99" or similar]
    Height:          5.00"
    Orientation:    Portrait
    Margins:	    Set all to 0.25" or the minimum margin your printer allows

    Header and footer: If “on” default is 0.20", 0.04" is better with AutoFit height checked.

    Other tabs: make selections as desired.

  4. Click [Apply] and [OK]

  5. Double Click “3x5 Card” in the styles list to ensure it is selected.

  6. Enter your text and layout

  7. Save.

  8. Important: Save to PDF

In Evince Document Viewer

  1. Open your 3x5 card PDF file

  2. Select Menu > Print

  3. General Tab: Select printer, Range and Copies desired

  4. Page Setup Tab: Important Selections

    			Only print:    All sheets.
    			Scale:         100.0%
    			Paper size:  Index Card 3 x 5in*
  5. Page Handling Tab: Shrink to Printable Area

  6. Job, Image Quality, Color Tabs: Select as desired

If “Index Card 3 x 5in” selection is not available in the Print dialogue.

  1. Open HP Device Manager, [Or similar if different manufacturer’s printer]

  2. Select the printer type from the list. [This case “HP Office Jet Pro 6830 (Printer)”]

  3. Ensure that you have selected in “Printer Name,” the printer you are sending the job to.

    Note: For some reason in Ubuntu and possibly other distros, HP printers are often duplicated depending on how many drivers are available. PPa’s General and such.

  4. In the tab: Print Settings > General > Media Size: select “Index Card 3x5in”

    • If it is not shown in the drop down menu then check the other “Printer Name” drivers for one that does contain “Index Card 3x5in”

    • If none supply that selection, contact the manufacturer’s help site or call center for a newer driver or patch.

    • If it is shown, select it and note the printer name for that driver, and use it to print the 3x5 PDF

System Info ##.


OS::…:…Linux 5.4; UI render: default; VCL: gtk3

Ubuntu :…:…18.04.5 LTS

Locale::…:…en-US (en_US.UTF-8); UI: en-US

Processor::…Intel(R) Core™ i5 CPU M 580 @ 2.67GHz

Memory:…:…3824MB (2689MB used)

Machine Type::.Notebook

PDF::…:…PDF/A - 3b

Document Viewer: Evince

Version: :…3.28.4-0ubuntu1.2



NOTE: If you have a different printer or Linux distro, you will need to check user documentation, and help sites. If The LibreOffice and distro sites are not helpful. a general internet search for “3x5 card + your printer or distro” can turn up further help a number of Linux user sites.